Vice President Richard Cheney says nations harboring terrorists will face the full wrath of the United States after Tuesday's devastating attacks on New York and the Pentagon.
Mr. Cheney told N-B-C television that he has no doubt that Saudi exile Osama bin Laden and his organization played a significant role in the attacks. He identified Afghanistan as a possible target if it is indeed sheltering the alleged terrorist mastermind.
Mr. Cheney also said President Bush had ordered Air Force jets to shoot down incoming commercial airliners over Washington if they did not divert immediately after Tuesday's attacks. Mr. Cheney said the President made the decision to prevent further attacks on U-S landmarks.
In another television interview (Fox), Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the United States has no choice but to strike targets in countries that harbor terrorists. Mr. Rumsfeld said the United States will take the offensive in the battle against terrorist organizations and the countries that tolerate, support, and finance their activities.
U-S officials say the campaign against terrorism will take a long time, probably a matter of years.
Secretary of State Colin Powell told C-B-S that he welcomes the support from Pakistan, which borders Afghanistan. Mr. Powell said the United States must pull up terrorist networks from their roots.